Brought in to fill the void left by Bastian Oczipka's departure to Schalke, Eintracht Frankfurt full-back Jetro Willems is certain to provide the Bundesliga with added excitement, with the Dutch international powerhouse having previously proved a hit at PSV Eindhoven.
He may not be famed for his goalscoring feats, yet viewing Jetro Willems’s double for former side PSV in their 4-2 win at AZ Alkmaar last season is a sight worth celebrating and one that will fill fans of the Eagles with anticipation. A pair of scintillating strikes that involved sumptuous skill and powerful finishing left defenders reeling and further helped to raise the profile of the 23-year-old flying full-back, already capped 22 times by the Netherlands.
The left-sided player arrives at Eintracht to replace the Schalke-bound Bastian Oczipka and is already creating excitement among the Die Adler hierarchy. "He's a young and very ambitious player who will strengthen our team," the club’s sporting director Fredi Bobic said.
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Willems’s defensive capabilities are more than sound, yet it is his attacking prowess that offers Eintracht coach Niko Kovac an important outlet. A 2011 UEFA European Under-17 champion with the Netherlands, he enjoys using his pace up and down the flank and as well as displaying keen dribbling ability and poses a threat with his accurate crossing. Despite his short stature, Willems boasts immense strength, which he uses to outmuscle attacking opponents.
His left foot provided an incredible 13 assists in 30 top-flight games as PSV enjoyed a 22nd Eredivisie championship win in 2014/15. The former Futsal player subsequently suffered a significant setback, however, picking up a knee injury that sidelined him for a lengthy period during the following campaign. Willems recovered to offer four more assists in 15 appearances as PSV retained their top-flight title.
His task will now be to provide Eintracht with a certain level of unpredictability down the left, yet replacing the highly-regarded Oczipka will not be easy for the Dutch international. Perhaps not as accomplished defensively as the man he is replacing, Willems - who excels in one-on-one situations - will nonetheless provide a fresh perspective for last season’s DFB Cup runners-up.
Willems celebrated his 23rd birthday last March yet has already compiled some impressive feats to add to his growing CV. His 144 Dutch first division games with PSV were complemented by seven appearances in the UEFA Champions League and 23 in the Europa League while he also became the youngest player to perform at a European Championship when he lined up for the Netherlands at UEFA EURO 2012 as an 18-year-old.
Born in Rotterdam to parents from Curaçao, Williams’s next challenge comes in the Bundesliga with an Eintracht team keen to improve upon their eleventh-place finish last term.